In the winter of 1820, the New England whaling ship Essex was assaulted by something no one could believe: a whale of mammoth size and will, and an almost human sense of vengeance. The real-life maritime disaster would inspire Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. But that told only half the story. “Heart of the Sea” reveals the encounter’s harrowing aftermath, as the ship’s surviving crew is pushed to their limits and forced to do the unthinkable to stay alive. Braving storms, starvation, panic and despair, the men will call into question their deepest beliefs, from the value of their lives to the morality of their trade, as their captain searches for direction on the open sea and his first mate still seeks to bring the great whale down.
The water was very much a character in the film and the stereo team spent time crafting how the waves looked in stereo, putting in a huge amount of detail that wouldn’t necessarily always go into water shots. There are many significant sequences, such as the ‘squall’ sequence and the sequence in which ‘The Essex’ is destroyed that feature standout 3D moments.
Two recurring elements in the movie were lens flares and water droplets on the lens during stereo conversion. Normally these are played at screen plane or are very negative. In the film, stereo team pushed them into the scenes, varying the depth so that you get a feeling of them being there.